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Eric Peterson, Published July 28 2010

Wallace, Schrader set to race at RRVS

Kenny Wallace has made more the 800 career starts on the NASCAR series, but the racing veteran still appreciates competing at tracks like the Red River Valley Speedway.

“Life is kind of funny,” said Wallace, also an on-air talent for the Speed Channel. “You know, when you’re starting out, when you are in your teens, you can’t wait to get in NASCAR. You know, you have a goal to get big time. Then when you get big time, you want to go home every once in awhile. It’s really strange.”

Wallace and Kenny Schrader – who is also a NASCAR series veteran – are both scheduled to race tonight at the West Fargo dirt track in a United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) event. Hot laps start at 7 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30.

“I’m really am a fan of the USMTS series,” said Schrader, who is set to race six nights this week. “They would be like the World of Outlaws for Modifieds.”

Despite recent heavy rainfall, Ivan Sailer, the operations director for the Valley Racing Group, said the track will be ready for tonight’s races. Sailer said he expects around 6,500 fans for each show.

Schrader, like Wallace, has a strong NASCAR series résumé.

Schrader has 184 career Top 10 finishes on the Sprint Cup Series. He has also had success on the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

Schrader raced in Grand Forks, N.D., earlier this month and has raced in 45 different states. Schrader is scheduled to race nearly 50 nights on dirt this year.

“I like going to new places, but it’s not like this was set up to be a goal or anything,” Schrader said. “You just wind up racing a lot of places and pretty soon you’ve been most every place.”

Wallace and Schrader both raced at Park Jefferson Speedway in Jefferson, S.D., on Tuesday night.

Tonight’s USMTS show is the first of back-to-back shows that feature big-time racing names at the RRVS.

The All Star Sprints are set to run Thursday. That show will feature two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and four-time World of Outlaws sprint circuit champion Donny Schatz.

While Fargo driver Corky Thomas has raced Modifieds against Wallace and Schrader before, he is excited to race against them at the RRVS.

“I’ve never raced them at a home track,” Thomas said. “I’m just thankful that we have the opportunity to race against guys like that right here at home. … We’ve never seen stuff like this before.”

Like Thomas, Blake Jegtvig of Hawley, Minn., has raced against Wallace and Schrader. He likes the challenge of racing against the NASCAR veterans and the other USMTS drivers.

“It’s always fun to get somebody else in town for us to see if we are as good as we think we are,” said Jegtvig. “You’re only as fast as the competition you race against.”

Schrader himself owns three dirt tracks. Schrader co-owns Macon Speedway near Macon, Ill., with Wallace and Stewart.

Schrader said he is interested to talk with Donny on his father, Danny Schatz. Danny Schatz took over track operations in the offseason when the RRVS was in jeopardy of not running this summer.

“I will be curious to talk to them about stuff. You would like to see how other people are doing things,” Schrader said. “It’s always neat to get someone’s perspective on the ownership side of the track when all they have been doing is driving prior to that.”

Wallace said he enjoys getting in his hauler with his crew and competing in the weekday shows.

“We make some CDs, we play a little country music. We travel from track to track,” Wallace said. “We’ll run two or three nights a week. It’s a lot of fun to get out of a car and people’s eyeballs are as big as a half a dollar. They’re like ‘Oh my god, it really is the TV guy, Kenny Wallace.’ ”


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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